Brief History of the BeefYes! There is a rivalry. Some may not know that aside from their on-court rivalry and MVP candidacy rivalry, there was also an off-court back and forth jabs against each other.
It started when the current Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo won the the MVP award for the first time. The Rockets organization posted a tweet which was eventually deleted.
“Congrats to the MVP, but we respectfully disagree”, said by the offical Twitter account of the Houston Rockets.
After that tweet, that’s when the back and forth jabs came and it became worse.
During the All-Star team Draft with Lebron James and Antetokounmpo were the captain, the ever controversial TNT Reporter Charles Barkley tried to provoke the Greek Freak when the latter passed on Harden and choosing Kemba Walker instead.
“What, you don't want The Dribbler?" Barkley asked Giannis. Then Giannis replied with a direct jab to Harden, “I want somebody that's going to pass the ball.” said the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player.
"Offensively, we were just trying to find whoever James Harden was guarding. That's who we thought we'd have the opportunity to score on." Added the two-time NBA MVP.
It did not sit well with Harden considering he ranks ninth in the NBA in assists per game with 7.3, while Kemba Walker is just merely 36th with 5.0 per game.
In return, Harden countered in a 1-on-1 interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols saying, "I wish I could be 7-feet, run and just dunk. That takes no skill at all," Harden said. "I gotta actually learn how to play basketball and how to have skill. I'll take that any day." added the former Most Valuable Player.
Harden Trade to BrooklynWe all know what happened in Houston that triggered the Brooklyn Nets to trade all of its assets for Harden. Well, this is not the first time we’ve seen Brooklyn trade all its assets for aging superstars like the trade of Pierce and Garnett from the Celtics in 2013.
After the humiliating loss to the Lakers, Harden made comments in the post-game interview of the game that made waves in social media and turned out to be the final string for the trade to happen.
“We’re just not good enough,I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can. I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed.” said All-star guard.
That was the end of an era in Houston.
Rivalry reignited in the Eastern ConferenceHere we are now that Harden is in the Eastern Conference where some people might say before as a weaker conference which is arguable.
The two guys will get the chance to prove to each other who is better than the other. We can actually see them go head to head against each other not only on interviews but a chance to see them possibly as a playoff match up.
The beef might have cooled down in terms of talking and social media, but the true rivalry will be continued in the court and hopefully to fight for survival in the playoffs.